Google Ads FAQ With Glossary and Tools

What Is Google Ads?

Need an answer about Google Ads? We’ve got you covered on the most commonly asked questions. This regularly updated document can also be downloaded in pdf form.

What Is Google Ads?

Google Ads is the pay per click advertising solution that allows businesses to advertise above organic search results on Google search pages.

Google Ads also distributes advertising through search partners and on websites using display advertising.

Google Adwords is the name of Google’s paid advertising program before they simplified it to just Google Ads.

How Does Google Ads Work?You create an account, create either text or display ads, decide on targeting and bidding factors and launch a campaign. Google will then display your ads each day until your budget runs out and, under most circumstances, charge you each time someone clicks on your ads.

Google Ads primarily refers to the search ads you see above search results in Google, though Google does provide options to run advertising on other channels and in other formats, such as YouTube commercials.

This is a very difficult question to answer in two sentences. To help you decide, you will need to determine your cost per click, click through rate, and conversion rate. These numbers will give you a cost per conversion. You then decide if that cost is low enough to produce a profit for you and your business.

We can help you estimate these costs at no charge. Contact us today and we will walk you through it.

The simple answer is: Yes. The more complex answer is: It depends on your market, budget and objectives. Billions of people every day are on Google looking for answers to their questions and someone to provide them services and products. Google Ads puts you at the top of that search list. Things become more complicated if you have a brand new product or service that no one is looking for or your market is so competitive that the cost to acquire a customer is higher than you are willing to pay.

Under most circumstances, you will pay per click for your advertising on Google. To determine how much Google Ads costs, you multiply your cost per click by how many clicks it takes every day to reach your target lead volume.

Example: If your market has a cost per click of $1 and you are hoping for 100 clicks or 3-5 leads per day, you will need to spend $100 per day.

We usually recommend customers purchase a minimum of 500 clicks per month to have a large enough campaign to begin to run meaningful testing and to find statistically significant results.

Under most circumstances, Yes. The more complex answer is: It depends on your market, budget and objectives. Billions of people every day are on Google looking for answers to their questions and someone to provide them services and products. Google Ads puts you at the top of that search list. Things become more complicated if you have a brand new product or service that no one is looking for or your market is so competitive that the cost to acquire a customer is higher than you are willing to pay.

Google Ads display above search results on Google.

Google does offer advertising on other channels, such as YouTube and banner advertising that displays on the websites that are part of the Google partner network.

Under most circumstances, Google will charge you each time someone clicks on your ad. On some channels, such as YouTube, Google may charge you per views of your ad.

Google will charge you every time your ad account hits its account maximum or once per month, whichever is sooner. This can be confusing for people who expect to be charged only once per month. For example: If your account limit is $500, Google will charge your card on file each time you hit $500 in advertising spend, whether that’s once a day or once a month.

As time goes on, Google will slowly increase your account limit. You can also request an increase to your account limit.

No. Under most circumstances, you will pay each time someone clicks on your ads.

Google does however offer an ads credit if you have never advertised with Google before. To receive such a credit, you can contact either us or another agency to provide you with those details and how to set it up.

Google offers several ad certifications, the list can be viewed here.

We suggest you start with the Google Ads Search certification and add on only those other certifications you will use as you need them. Another great option for learning Google Ads is by watching high-quality videos on sites such as Lynda.com.

Google Shopping Ads are product ads that display at the top of search results. These differ from standard Google Ads in that they show product images and information on the front end (on Google Search) and are uploaded to Google on the backend through digital tools or spreadsheets.

A Google Ads Smart Campaign is a campaign on Google Ads that is mostly automated. This is the option that is often Google’s first suggestion to new advertisers. Most agencies don’t like the idea of letting Google manage your entire ad campaign on autopilot.

See the next bullet for more information.

Smart Campaigns might work if you are planning on only spending a few hundred dollars per month or less on Google advertising and don’t know anything about advertising. Smart campaigns are fully automated and give you few options compared to a standard ad program.

Ad experts agree that you will get the best results out of your ad campaigns if you use a standard campaign because of the wide range of targeting factors and options available to you. However, this option might be more technically complex than the average business person wants to invest time in learning.

This is why we strongly advise you work with a Google Ads agency if you plan on spending anywhere near $1,000 or more per month on Google advertising. The results an agency can generate for you should outperform the additional cost in agency management fees.

How Do I Get Started With Google Ads?

Get Started With Google Ads TodayGoogle has made it easy to get started with Google Ads today. You can either follow the below steps to set up, monitor and manage an account yourself or hire an agency to help you. There may also be an ad credit available to you for up to $150 in free ads if you have not previously advertised with Google.

I would estimate that on a scale of 1 to 10, most people would find Google Ads complexity to land somewhere between 7 and 10. If you plan on spending more than a few hundred dollars per month on ads, I strongly advise you speak with a professional.

Contact us today to ask about help with your credit.

Step 1: Visit ads.google.com

Step 2: Click the blue ‘start now’ button.

Step 3: Either proceed with the prompts to create a Google Ads Express campaign or (and this is preferred) click the ‘Switch to Expert Mode’ link below the prompts.

Step 4: You are now ready to create your first campaign. Read our beginner’s guide to building your first campaign.

How_to_Update_Google_Ads_Payment_SettingsStep 1: Log in to your Google Ads account.

Step 2: Click the wrench icon in the top right corner of the window marked ‘Tools and Settings’

Step 3: Under ‘Billing’, click ‘Settings’

Step 4: Either change your information on this screen or

Step 5: Click ‘Payment Methods’ on the left and input new payment details.

Step 1: Log in to your Google Ads account.

Step 2: Click the wrench icon in the top right corner of the window marked ‘Tools and Settings’

Step 3: Under ‘Setup’, click ‘Account Access and Security’

Step 4: Click the blue + button in the top left

Step 5: Input the google email address of the person you want to share access with and select an access level

Step 6: Click the blue ‘Send Invitation’ button at the bottom of the page.

How to Use the Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner

Step 1: Look at our tools section for tools like Google Keyword Planner that will help you put together an initial list of keywords for your business, search volume around those keywords and what those clicks will cost you.

Step 2: Take a look at how some of your competitors are creating ads and begin to draft ad copy.

Step 3: Try to think about what makes you different than your competitors and why your customers have purchased from you in the past and write these details into your ads. Your ad language will be the single most important part of your entire advertising program. Your ad language will literally make or break your advertising campaigns. Spend time on this step.

Step 4: Input these ads into separate ad groups and launch. Then watch which ads perform the best, keep the winners and pause the losers.

Step 1: Go to ads.google.com and either log in or create a new account.

Step 2: Either choose a smart campaign and proceed with the prompts on the screen or click ‘Expert Mode’ at the bottom of the window.

Step 3: If you chose expert mode you will be taken to a window to select either a guided campaign setup or to create a campaign without goal guidance.

For an in-depth step-by-step guide and explanation of the options, click here for our beginner’s guide to Google Ads.

Google offers a range of bidding strategies:

  • Manual CPC (Enhanced): This is your preferred option. You control your entire bidding strategy and manually adjust your cost per click bid while allowing Google to try to show your ads to individuals it thinks will convert based on your conversion settings.
  • Manual CPC: You control your entire bidding strategy. You set your cost per click.
  • Target CPA: Google will work to bring you those leads that are at or below your target cost per lead. Be careful because this may only produce a handful of leads for you at that price.
  • Target ROAS: Google will work to produce for you your target return on ad spend. Again, to do so, you may only generate a handful of leads.
  • Maximize Clicks: Google will drive as many clicks as it can within your budget.
  • Maximize Conversions: Google will drive as many conversions as it can within your budget. You must have conversion tracking in place to select this option.
  • Maximize Conversion Value: Google will set your bids for you to help you generate the best conversion value for your budget. You must have conversion tracking and proper value attribution in place for this to work at all.
  • Target Impression Share: Google will drive the most views to your ad it can within your budget.

Be careful when choosing a more automated bidding strategy. Many of the above options will not produce for you the best cost per conversion.

If any of the terms are unfamiliar to you, see our glossary below.

Google Ads extensions are the additional pieces of rich information that Google may show to viewers along with you ad if and when it feels that it will increase your CTR (click-through rate). You can set up extensions when creating your campaigns.

These are some of the Google Ad extensions that are available:

  • Location: You have to connect a Google Business account, but this will display location information, such as address and open times, along with your ad.
  • Reviews: You have to connect a Google Business account or another trusted review site, but this will display review information along with your ad.
  • Phone number: This will display a phone number along with your ad.
  • Sitelinks: This will display links to specific pages on your website, such as a contact page or product pages.
  • Callouts: Use this to add additional text to your ad, such as: ‘Free Delivery’ or ’24/7 Service’.
  • Structured Snippets: This will show rich information about your products or services along with your ad.
  • Price: This will show prices of products along with your ad.
  • App: This will show a link to download your app along with your ad.

Google just released a new feature in the Google Ads Keyword Planner. The ability to refine keywords around concepts. To do so, follow these steps:

Step 1: Log in to your Google Ads account.

Step 2: Click the wrench icon in the top right corner labeled ‘Tools and Settings’.

Step 3: Under ‘Planning’, select ‘Keyword Planner’.

Step 4: Type in either a single keyword or handful of keywords into the search box and click ‘Get Results’.

Step 5: Click the blue link ‘Refine Keywords’ to the right side of the page.

Step 6: Check or uncheck those concepts that pertain to your program.

When creating an ad inside of Google Ads, you will see a small drop-down arrow that you can click for Google to show you some examples of ideal ad language. You can also either view our blog or other sites on Google for winning Google Ad examples.

We use Google Tag Manager to set up conversion tracking. This is a bit of a complicated process if you have never done it before. Here are the basic steps to get you started:

Step 1: Log in to your Google Ads account.

Step 2: Click the wrench icon in the top right corner marked ‘Tools and Settings’.

Step 3: Under measurement, click ‘Conversions’.

Step 4: Click the blue + button and follow the on screen prompts to set up your target conversion. When you come to the end of the setup, choose Tag Manager as your installation option.

Step 5: Either create a Google Tag Manger account or log in to your account.

Step 6: Make sure that the code for the Google Tag Manger container is installed in the < head > tag of your website.

Step 7: Follow the prompts provided by Google Ads to set up the tag for your target conversion.

For further reading, take a look at our article on how to get started using Google Tag Manger for Google Ads conversion tracking.

You will want to create multiple ads and multiple campaigns that run at the same time to test what works and what does not. Try to create ads that are quite different, such as:

  • An ad that highlights a positive review.
  • An ad that talks about your services.
  • An ad that talks about the benefits of your services.
  • An ad that tells the story of how someone benefited from your services.

Once you know what is working and why, keep the winners, pause the losers and create new ads to test.

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Google Ads Technical Questions

Google Ads Technical QuestionsIn this section we get into more of the in-depth questions you might have regarding managing your Google Ads accounts.

Step 1: Log in to both your Google Ads account and your Google Analytics account.

Step 2: Go to your Google Analytics account and click ‘Admin’ on the bottom right corner of the page.

Step 3: Click ‘Google Ads Linking’ underneath the ‘Product Linking’ section in the second column.

Step 4: Click the red + New Link Group button.

Step 5: Select the Google Ads account you want to link your analytics account to.

Step 6: Click the Blue ‘Continue’ button.

Step 7: Tick the box to share Google Analytics with your Google Ads account and click the blue ‘Link Accounts’ button.

Your Google Ads settings are located under the wrench icon in the top right corner of your account marked ‘Tools and Settings’.

You can either set your daily budget when setting up your campaign or edit your budget by logging into your Google Ads account, selecting the target campaign from the left menu and clicking the pencil icon next to the current budget at the top of the window.

Either Google will send you a discount code in the mail when you begin using some of their products, like Google Business, or an agency can supply you with a code. Google provides codes to us as a way to incentivize conversations with business owners.

These codes will only be good if you have not previously advertised with Google, and they are usually worth $150 when you spend $150 for advertising within the United States.

Yes. You can upload either a .gif or html5 animated graphic, which will display on the Google Display network.

For additional information, read our article on Google Display advertising.

Change your view date if your ads don't look to be running on Google

Change your view date

There may be a range of reasons why your ads are not showing. The following are some of the most common reasons:

  • Your budget has run out for the day.
  • Your ads may be running, you are just trying to view them outside of the ad targeting parameters such as geographic location. To confirm, see if your ads are generating any impressions or clicks. If so, they are running.
  • Your ads may be paused.
  • You may be viewing your ads outside of their scheduled run times. Example: If you started to run ads in June but your date settings are set to May, it will show 0 traffic even though they are running. Make sure to change the date to the current day in the top right corner of the campaign window.
  • If your budget has not run out, your ads are not paused, you are viewing the current day’s statistics and you are certain that your targeting parameters are correct, your ads may have been disapproved. Check the Ad Status column.

Google Ads primarily uses keyword phrases to determine who to show your ads to.

Example: If you use the keyword phrase [red shoes], your ads will show to anyone who types red shoes into Google.

You can further adjust where and when your ads display using the following criteria:

  • Location
  • Demographics, such as age or gender (this is about 80% accurate, but you can use it for exclusions, say if you are selling liquor products for example).
  • Time of day
  • Device
  • Audiences (this is a new feature that is not yet reliable)

In addition to the above, Google Display advertising (image and video advertising) has a wide range of much more advanced targeting factors that are often unreliable at best. Some of these include:

  • Search intent
  • Topic (what the website is about that may display your ad)
  • In-market (what the viewer of your ad may be expressing an interest in within the past few days)
  • Parental Status
  • Household Income

In our experience, while Facebook interest and demographic targeting is quite accurate because they own the content on their website, Google’s strengths lie in targeting the keywords people are searching on the search engine and not necessarily on the display network, unless extensive time is invested to understand how the audience is interacting with the display ads.

How to Appeal a Google Ads Disapproval

Appeal Disapproved Ads

Google has recently made it easier to request a review of disapproved ads.

If your ad has been disapproved, the following steps can help:

Step 1: Read carefully the reasoning behind why they have disapproved your ad.

Step 2: Log in to your ad account, go to the specific ad and click on the status column.

Step 3: You should see a link to read the policy that has been violated.

Step 4: Adjust your ads to adhere carefully and completely to whatever policy you have violated.

Step 5: Once you have made your adjustments, your ad should go back into review.

Step 6: If the ad is disapproved again, or if you feel your ad was incorrectly disapproved from the outset, go to back to the ad status column and scroll over the status of the ad. At the bottom of the window that pops up you should see a link to appeal.

Step 7: If this appeal process still does not work, try to reach out to Google directly by clicking the ? in the top right corner of your window and then the blue “Contact Us” link in the window that opens.

You should be prepared. If the automated appeals process is unsuccessful, the manual review process can take several days.

For further reading, see Google’s Ad Policies page.

We use Google Tag Manager for conversion tracking, and the process is quite simple:

Step 1: Log in to your Google Ads account and your Google Tag Manager account.

Step 2: In your Google Ads account, create your conversion, which is under the ‘Tools and Settings’ icon in the top right corner of your window.

Step 3: As you come to the end of your conversion setup, you will be offered some options on who you would like to install the tracking code. Select ‘Tag Manager’. This will give you a conversion ID and conversion label that you will use when setting up your tag in Google Tag Manager.

Step 4: Test and publish your tag.

For further reading, read our article on how to get started with Google Tag Manager.

You will want to install a remarketing tag on your website so that Google can set a cookie in the browser of everyone who visits your landing page or website. This allows Google to show your ads to those specific people after they have left your pages. This is quite an effective marketing tool.

The simple method is as follows:

Step 1: Log in to your Google Ads account.

Step 2: Click the ‘Tools and Settings’ wrench icon in the top right corner of the window.

Step 3: Under ‘Shared Library’ click ‘Audience Manager’.

Step 4: You will now see a blue banner with a blue button that says ‘Set Up An Audience Source’. Click this button.

Step 5: Under ‘Google Ads Tag’, select ‘Set Up Tag’

Step 6: Follow the guided prompts, which will ask you what data you want to collect and provide the specific code snippet that you will either need to install directly in the < head > code of whatever pages you want to remarket or use Google Tag Manager.

For further reading, visit Google’s support page on how to set up the various remarketing tag options.

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Google Ads Glossary With Definitions

Google Ads Glossary of Terms with DefinitionsWe’ve put together a glossary of some of the most commonly used Google Ads terms and KPIs.

If there is something you are looking for that is not on this list, feel free to contact us.

Google Ad Rank is the value Google gives to your ad to determine which ad will win an ad auction. Your ad rank is based on a combined score of your quality score combined with your cost per click bid. If your ad is one penny above your competitor, you will be in a higher position than your competitor.

A click-through rate is the total number of impressions divided by the total number of clicks.

Example: 100 imp. / 1 click = 1% CTR

This is probably your single most important metric because it is the linchpin that all other metrics rotate around.

Cost per click is the price you pay every time someone clicks on your ad.

A conversion is your target advertising action.

Example: A conversion might be a phone call or a purchase or a lead-form submission.

We use a general term to normalize the data since not all ads are trying to drive actual purchases on a website.

Your conversion rate is your number of clicks divided by your total number of conversions.

Example: 100 clicks / 1 lead-form submission (conversion) = 1% conversion rate. (Conv. Rate)

The average conversion rate in the United States for Google search ads is 2.7%, which will vary by location, vertical and campaign. Our agency average conversion rate is in the double digits.

Conversion rate optimization is the process of intentionally improving your conversion rate.

Cost per conversion is the price you pay per conversion. There are several ways to calculate this. We prefer the method of dividing the total ad budget spent by the total number of conversions.

Example: $1,000 spent / 100 conversions = $10 CPConv.

Impressions are the total times your ad was viewed, not the total number of people who viewed it, which is the reach.

Example: 100 people saw your ad and everyone saw it twice = 100 reach, 200 impressions.

Impression share is the total number of impressions available divided by how often your ad was viewed.

Example: 1000 impressions available / 100 impressions (times viewed) = 10% imp. share , we can also see this as a 90% Lost Imp. Share.

The following are keyword match types:

  • Broad Match: Broad match is the default match type that all your keywords are assigned. Ads may show on searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations. So if your keyword is “women’s hats,” someone searching for “buy ladies hats” as well as “women’s scarves” might see your ad.
  • Broad Match Modified: Similar to broad match, except that the broad match modifier option only shows ads in searches that include the words with a plus sign “+” in front of them (+women’s hats), or close variations of the “+” terms.
  • Phrase Match: Ads may show on searches that match a phrase, or close variations of that phrase, which may include additional words before or after. Ads won’t show, however, if a word is added to the middle of the phrase that changes the meaning of the phrase. Phrase match is designated with quotation marks (women’s hats).
  • Exact Match: Ads may show on searches that match the exact term or are close variations of that exact term. Close variants include searches for keywords with the same meaning as the exact keywords, regardless of spelling or grammar differences between the query and the keyword. Exact match is designated with brackets [red shoe].
  • Negative: Excludes your ads from showing on searches with that term. So if you’re a hat company that doesn’t sell baseball hats, you could add a negative keyword, designated with a minus sign (-baseball hats).

Pay per click is when you pay each time someone clicks on your ad.

This is also the general terms used to describe digital advertising since the PPC model is what is primarily used.

Quality Score is the metric, on a scale from 1-10, 1 being low and 10 being high, that Google assigns your ads to indicate whether your ad is a high or low quality experience for consumers. Google uses this metric to determine your Ad Rank, which directly impacts the cost of your ads.

There are three factors that impact your Quality Score:

  • Ad Quality: How closely does your ad language match your keywords with consumers’ search intent.
  • Expected Click Through Rate: How often are consumers expected to click on your ad. This number will be based on historic CTR for the keyword until you have several hundred clicks or more.
  • Landing Page Experience: How closely does the language on your landing page match your keywords, the keywords in your ads and consumer search intent.

The average Quality Score is a score of 4-6. A score of 8 or above is considered good or ‘Above Average’. Scores of 9 or 10 are often rewarded by Google with lower CPCs as a way to incentivize advertisers to produce high-quality advertising. Our agency average Quality Score is a 9 across all of our ads.

Remarketing is when advertising is display to people who have either visited your website or another location where your remarketing tags are installed. This is the system that Amazon uses to show customers the products that they have previously viewed on the website, even while the customer is visiting sites other than Amazon.com.

Transactional keywords are the search terms that people use to search for a product or service when they are close to a purchase.

Example:

  • The term ‘How to fix my bike’ is likely not a purchase intent search.
  • The term ‘Santa Cruz mountain bike sales’ is likely a purchase intent search.

Display advertising is the form of digital advertising where graphic ads, previously known as banner ads, are displayed on websites, often alongside information such as news articles.

The display network is the long list of websites that a display advertiser, such as Google, will use as ‘inventory’ where display ads can be shown to viewers.

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Google Ads vs 

With so many options available, we know how complicated it can be to try to determine what the best digital strategy is for your business. Here we discuss how Google Ads might compare with leading tactics.

  • Google Ads: 
    • You pay to have your ad show up on Google Search.
    • Your ads will display and start generating traffic and sales in minutes.
    • These often drive sales.
    • When you stop paying, your ads turn off and there is no more traffic.
  • SEO:
    • You don’t pay to have your page show up on Google Search.
    • You often have to wait months for results to build up to increased traffic.
    • Your articles that rank will often have to be informational, which can then point to pages that are sales focused.
    • Since you aren’t paying, your earned traffic will last much longer than just a few weeks.
  • Google Ads:
    • Your ads display above search results and can display on millions of partner websites and apps that are taking part in the Google Display Network.
    • Google search ads are often built around search intent, which means that these ads are in front of people who know what they are looking for, when they are looking for it.
    • Google ads tend to be a higher cost per click but lower cost per conversion.
  • Facebook Ads:
    • Your ads will primarily display on Facebook properties such as Facebook.com, Instagram.com or Messenger though Facebook is growing their own display network of partner sites.
    • Facebook ads are shown to people passively using Facebook sites, which means that the ads are showing to people who are not actively looking for the product or services.
    • Facebook ads tend to be a lower cost per click but a higher cost per lead since a higher volume of the people are ‘just browsing’.
  • Google Ads:
    • Your ads display above search results and can display on millions of partner websites and apps that are taking part in the Google Display Network.
    • Google search ads are often built around search intent, which means that these ads are in front of people who know what they are looking for, when they are looking for it.
    • Google ads are less expensive.
  • LinkedIn Ads:
    • Your ads will on LinkedIn.com.
    • LinkedIn ads are shown to people passively using LinkedIn.com, and often business people, which means that the ads are showing to people who are not actively looking for the product or services.
    • LinkedIn ads are more expensive but can make sense if you are targeting businesses with your products or services.
  • Google Ads:
    • Google provides a wealth of information regarding who is using your ads, how much they cost, what results you are producing and what your ROI is.
    • You pay each time someone takes an action, such as clicking your ad.
    • You can fine-tune your advertising campaigns around conversion tracking and target metrics.
    • You can target different demographics with custom and dynamic ads, such as dentists or auto mechanics.
    • Your ads can be actively improved overtime with incremental, scientifically sound, data testing methods.
  • Traditional Advertising:
    • Traditional advertising, such as radio ads or newspaper ads, can tell you their target demographics but will often not have granular results.
    • You pay to run your ad whether someone takes any action or not.
    • You can’t do much to fine-tune your ads.
    • The only way to target different demographics is by advertising with a different channel, such as multiple radio stations or different magazines.
    • It is very difficult to improve your ads over time unless you are spending a great deal of money in a wide range of formats.
  • Google Ads:
    • These are the text ads that display above search results.
    • These ads are often targeted at buyers, which makes them a more active form of advertising.
    • These are more expensive on a cost per click basis.
    • You can carefully target search intent using keywords.
  • Display Advertising:
    • These are the graphic ads that will often display on a website or during a YouTube video.
    • These are often targeted at audiences and not when someone is looking for something, which makes them a more passive form of advertising.
    • These are far less expensive on a cost per click basis.
    • It is quite difficult to target these ads since Google still can’t reliably determine who is on a particular website and why, which means that a huge volume of your traffic will likely be completely worthless to you unless you very carefully and very actively monitor the ads.
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Google Ads Tools

Don’t overcomplicate things. We have tested hundreds of tools over the years and there are only a few that we use every day, most of which are provided, for free, to advertisers from Google. There are however a few paid options that provide far more value than their cost. These are our suggestions.

After years of testing, we have discovered that sometimes the simplest answers are the best. We now primarily use only two tools when we are building Google Ads campaigns, one of which is free.

  • Google Keyword Planner: The Google Keyword Planner is the free tool that allows Google Ads advertisers the ability to estimate what keywords might produce results for a campaign, what the cost per click might be for those keywords and some historical metrics around those keywords.
  • SpyFu: This is a paid tool that we use to take a peek at what other advertisers might be doing in a particular market.

The Google Keyword Planner is the free tools that come with every Google Ads account, which allows advertisers to estimate what keywords might be effective in an ad program, estimate what the cost per click might be for those keywords and some historical metrics around how well those keywords might have performed int he past.

I suggest you take these numbers as estimates since they are based on a quality score of 5 and any advertiser who is building higher quality advertising will see better than estimated results.

The Google Ads Planner is just another name for the Google Keyword Planner.

The Google Ads Editor is a free tool that advertisers can download to edit their ads, ad groups and campaigns in bulk.

We use the free Google Keyword Planner for our market research. This tool will be able to give you estimates around ad traffic and cost per click for any given market.

For further reading, see our article on how to estimate a Google Ads budget.

While there are other options, we prefer SpyFu for competition research. This tool lets us see what businesses are in a particular market and what their ads have looked like over the past few years.

For further reading, see our article on how to estimate a Google Ads budget.

Here at Science In Advertising, we strongly prefer live dashboards over static PDFs.

There are quite a few dashboard tools that exist, including Google Data Studio, which is free, but we prefer Databox for its professional appearance and ease of use.

It is possible to keep it simple with only two or three tools for managing Google Ads. The following is our preferred list along with some additional options for you to consider should you decide to explore:

What we use:

Other options:

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How to Start Working With a Google Ads Agency

How to work with a Google Ads agency

You’ve seen some of the complexity that goes into a well-run ad campaign, and you know that A) you don’t have the time to learn a new set of skills yourself and B) if you make mistakes they may be quite expensive, and now you are interested in talking to a Google Ads management agency.

We hope that you might consider us, and request a free proposal.

However, whether you decide to work with us or someone else, we want you to be as equipped as possible to ask the right questions and make sure that you are getting your money’s worth.

A simple search on Google will be able to show you if there is a Google Ads agency near you, should you need to meet someone in person. However, since Google Ads is a digital marketing platform, agencies, such as us, will be able to help you and other businesses wherever they are. All they need is a website to get started.

Our agency drives revenue for large and small businesses all over the world.

There are several ways Google Ad agencies choose to price their services:

  • Hourly: This model is not advised since the business will be paying for all of the busywork that goes into an account that may not directly impact revenue. This is not a results-focused model and is often the fall back model for individuals who can’t be accountable for ROI.
  • Percentage of budget: This model is based on the size of the ad program and is the most common model. This can work well if the client makes sure to hold the agency accountable for revenue growth during the life of the program.
  • Set fee: This model is less common because most agencies have no idea how to properly estimate a program and are focused on the ad budget and not the value to the client. If the agency can properly bid the program, it can work well for clients because they can see that any suggested changes to the budget are not associated with the agency’s billing.
  • A blended approach: We operate on a model that is a set fee based on the size of the ad program and the estimated return on value to the client, plus a very tiny percentage of revenue once the account hits a revenue target. We feel that this approach keeps costs to a minimum while accounts are being established and proven.

Most ad agencies will not take on programs that are below a set monthly fee, which might range anywhere from $1,000 – $5,000 per month, depending on the agency’s experience.

When you first start working with a Google Ads agency, there are some important questions you should ask to make sure they have the proper experience and if they will be a good fit for your business. Section two are some good questions to ask yourself before working with an agency so that you have the appropriate information to help start any programs off correctly.

What to ask yourself:

  • What am I prepared to spend on advertising?
  • What am I prepared to pay the agency to manage my account?
  • What is my average order size?
  • What is my average customer lifetime value?
  • How have I made sales in the past?
  • Who are my target customers?
  • How do my target customers find me at the moment?

What to ask your agency:

  • How do you approach Google advertising?
  • What is your experience?
  • How do you measure ROI? (Far too many agencies won’t be able to answer this, which should be a deal-breaker.)
  • Do you have any references that can attest to your ability to drive sales?
  • How much do you cost?
  • Will I own my accounts and program?
  • What is the contract length of a relationship with you?
  • Do you build landing pages or do any conversion rate optimization on my website?
  • How and how often will you report results back to me?
  • In your report, will you just give me numbers or offer suggestions and next steps to improve the account and explain why those steps matter to my business specifically?
  • Will I see all of this in writing?

There are a range of key performance indicators (KPIs) that your agency should be reporting on, which will vary slightly from business to business. But these are a good place to start:

  • Your monthly budget spent
  • Click volume
  • Cost per click
  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion volume
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per conversion
  • Total revenue return (this might have to be estimated if you don’t know yourself)
  • Total revenue / total cost = ROI
  • What changes they have made in the account
  • Suggestions on what to improve

Additional metrics that may or may not be of value to you, but will be available upon request:

  • Ad examples
  • Ad-level results
  • Keyword-level KPIs that match the above list
  • Demographic data
  • Lost click share (this number tells you how many clicks you could have had if your budget was full-size)
  • There are dozens of additional metrics that will matter to the business owner even less than this list but should be watched by the agency on record.

Agencies will vary in how they operate. This is how we run client programs:

  • Initial estimates with client input
    • What is the market size?
    • What is the suggested budget?
    • What is the agency management fee?
    • What competitors are doing in the market and how we can beat them. (We usually do.)
  • Set up a program
    • Build accounts
    • Build the client’s dashboard
    • Write ads
    • Set up conversion tracking
    • Get approval
  • Launch and manage a program
    • Make daily, weekly and monthly changes based on a cycle of research and client feedback and approval
  • Report on results
    • Send regular communication to the client about how things are going, what changes we are making, what is working, what is not working and suggested next steps on how we can improve ROI, our North Star metric.

If you would like to ask a real person some questions about any of what you have read or might be interested, or even curious, about starting a program for yourself, just drop us a line. We would love to help.

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